View Full Version : How you make a clear sketch from a picture?

02-07-2008, 04:12 PM

If i download a picture from reflib, i use photoshop feature Filter "fotocopy" to make from this picture a sketch.

If a picture has many small details like flowers etc. the sketch is not so clear to transfer them.

Has anyone use another digital method to make a sketch from a picture?


02-07-2008, 04:29 PM
Nico, I use Painter and it has a sketch feature under the Effects which sounds very similar. It isn't perfect by any means, and I sometimes just print out a colour copy if I'm working small enough. Painter also has a trace feature which allows you to trace by hand the outlines that you want. I tend to use that when I'm working larger. My printer handles paper up to 13" X 19" so I can do this. When I'm transferring an image to my paper, I have it up on my screen as well, so that I can check for things which aren't clear on the printout. I don't try to trace the smallest details, just the main outlines and key location features. Jane

02-07-2008, 05:33 PM
Hello Jane.

I think we use the same feature.

Which application use you, to print out in a large scale??

i use proposter to print-out in which dimesion i wont.


02-07-2008, 07:32 PM
One nice feature in Photoshop is what they call the "Magnetic Lasso" selection tool which works somewhat like tracing, but tends to identify the "edges" your are tracing and "stick" to them fairly closely. This makes it easier, especially if you don't have a tablet/pen combination and are trying to do this with a mouse.

I also like to use separate layers for the original photo and the traced elements, or other elements added by hand, so you can select which layers are visible and/or printable. This make it easy to print just the outline you have produced without having to separate it from the photo.

02-07-2008, 10:19 PM
Nico, I just print it out using Painter. If I'm going to use a canvas board, I crop the image and resize to a standard size. If I'm using paper, I just resize it to the size I want the final to be.

Bill, Painter automatically creates a separate layer for the tracing with the tracing paper layer set to 50%, but that's modifiable.


02-08-2008, 01:03 AM
Thanks Jane, I am just getting started with Parinter so I'm still gettiing my bearings.


02-08-2008, 06:11 AM
Hello Jane.

Can you with the painter print a eg. 40" X 50 " picture in a A4 printer?

or is the picture limited to A4 format because of the printer?


Pat Isaac
02-08-2008, 09:39 AM
I have photoshop, but have never used these features, I mostly use it to mess with the color. I just tend to draw it. Sometimes grids are helpful in transferring an image.


02-08-2008, 10:04 AM
Bill, the command I'm thinking of is the Quick Clone under the File menu. I can assure you that, after having various versions of Painter (currently I'm at 9.5), I'm still getting my bearings. It is a very rich environment in which to work and I find it hard to locate all the palette/brush choices, etc. I've only used a small portion of what's possible.

Nico, usually you are limited by your printer, secondarily by the camera or other image source. For example, photos taken by my camera stored in Tiff format are in the range of 40"x 30" at 72DPI. I could print it at that size and precision if I had a printer that could do that. I bought my particular printer (HP Deskjet 1220C) so that I could print images larger than the usual home printer (max 8 1/2" X 14"), without having to resort to printing sections of the image and piecing them together. I think if you get much beyond the 13" X 19" that mine can handle you're into large format printers that Graphics shops use. Jane

02-08-2008, 01:07 PM
Hello .

Pat . i have also photoshop cs3 but i can't find this option.
How can i print a large image in printing sections so i can put then together so i will have a large print out ? until today i do this with proposter.

Jane : has painter X this above feature?

My printer is the HP laserjet 1018. I wont only Print B/w and sketches.


02-08-2008, 01:51 PM
Nico, I don't think that Painter can print sections of the image. But you could ask this question in the Painter's Alley subforum of the Digital Art forum. Jane

02-08-2008, 02:47 PM
Printing an image in sections for piecing together is not handled by the software, but typically is one of the options under the printer preferences menu when you begin a print job. Typically the software will have a drop down menu to select the printer you want to use. Somewhere nearby will be a button for setting printer preferences. Each model (I use only HP) will have slightly different menu sets even for the same brand.

To set up a grid on a photo in photoshop you must put a check mark by the show gridlines under the view menu. To actually set the grid up you must go to the photoshop preferences menu as shown below


Notice the central section of the dialogue box labeled GRID. Here you set the color, type, interval, units, etc. of the grid.

To print a large image out in pieces do the following:

Go to the Print with Preview Menu and select Page Setup:

At the bottom of the dialogue box you will see a button Printer. Select this to open the printer setup:


After selecting the desired printer, click on Properties:

In the printer properties dialogue select the finishing tab (depending on your model these menu options may look slightly different). What you are looking for is the dropdown menu in the lower right of the printer properties called "Tiling" . As the graphic above shows, I have selected a tiling of 3x3 which means the original image will be expanded and printed in pieces on 9 separate sheets of paper with dotted lines to indicate how to align them to piece together.

I hope this answers your question, Nico.


Pat Isaac
02-08-2008, 02:56 PM
Thanks, so much for doing this, Bill. I have been trying to find a similar thread that I saw in the pastel talk forum, but to no avail and here you've done it!


02-08-2008, 03:05 PM
Pat- I love doing things like this! If there is any way I can help on digital questions (not that I know everything, but I have been working with PC's since they came out), please let me know and I would be glad to try and respond. Sometimes it is quicker just to explain something again than find it.

Perhaps frequent questions like this might be fodder for articles using the publisher. If you have any ideas I would be glad to contribute. Just don't want to wear out my welcome.

Bill:wave: :wave: :wave:

Pat Isaac
02-08-2008, 03:10 PM
I knew you knew that...duh...the brain was somewhere else. I will keep the article info in mind. This actually may be a useful one. I'll check it out.


02-08-2008, 03:20 PM
Hello Bill.

After carefull search, i am sorry my Printer software(HP Laserjet 1018) has not this option. BTW : he has only very simple options.


02-08-2008, 04:31 PM
Hey, I just noticed that my new printer has this option, too :clap: . Thank you very much, Bill :wave:

02-08-2008, 08:54 PM
Silvia- Glad you could use the info!

Nico- I went to the HP site and looked up the manual for your printer. I also could not find the function listed (perhaps because it is a Laser printer while I think most of the others have been refering to Inkjet printers. Jane is correct that any of the printers that exceed 13x19 are generally outside the bounds of what is considered consumer market. I have an HP 9650 (replaced by newer model in HP's line now) that also does up to 13x19. The price has come down on similar models. I paid about $400 but think you can probably find them for around $200+- USD these days. I have noticed, though, that the larger the format of paper the printer uses it seems the smaller (and thus shorter lived and more expensive) the cartridges of colored ink are they use.

Shirl Parker
02-10-2008, 05:09 PM
I use CorelDraw and set my page up to the size I want to paint, like 9x12 or 16x20. Then when I print, I pick a feature called "Tile pages" which prints part of the picture on each 8-1/2x11 printer page and then tape the pages together to make one large sheet, put graphite tracing paper between the sheet and my support and trace the major elements. I can get as detailed as I want.